January 22nd marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the delicious Ann Sothern (1909-2001), one of the big (and small) screen’s most beloved blond comediennes. Often cast in musicals in the 1930s, notably opposite Maurice Chevalier in Folies Bergere (1935), she spent most of the 40s wisecracking her way through the likable Maisie series at MGM. Sothern’s best film is A Letter to Three Wives (1949), Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s sharp, Oscar-winning adult comedy. Yes, Sothern is one of the three wives, each of whom suspects that her husband has run off with the unseen Addie (voiced by elegant Celeste Holm). Married to schoolteacher Kirk Douglas, Sothern plays a radio writer whose success is causing trouble in her marriage. Sothern is at her wittiest, and it’s nice to see Douglas cast as a brainy, rather than brawny, fellow. Add wonderful performances from Linda Darnell, Paul Douglas, and, of course, Thelma Ritter, and you have a high spot in American screen comedy of the period.